Cardinals start, stay in high gear to down Southerners

By the time Dollarway was done with Batesville Southside here Friday night, the Southerners were probably looking forward to heading north for their return home.

Coach Cortez Lee’s Cardinals scored three second-quarter touchdowns en route to a 32-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 44-14 2-4A Conference victory that was hastened by the mercy rule after Southside fell behind 38-0 early in the third period. The Southerners — 4-4-1 overall and 2-4 in 2-4A Conference play — showed some muster by scoring a pair of late touchdowns, but by then Dollarway (8-1, 5-1) had infiltrated its reserves.

The Cardinals were more of an obstacle to themselves than was Southside. But despite repeatedly tripping itself with a rash of penalties, Dollarway was dominant enough that the outcome was never again in doubt by the time running back Dequan Christmas gave the Cardinals a 20-0 lead on a 4-yard run with 10:21 left in the second quarter.

It was another good showing for Lee’s two-quarterback system featuring Xavier Long and Jeremiah Young, who scored two touchdowns and passed for two more. Long also tallied two touchdowns while throwing for another.

Long registered the first score on a 2-yard run less than four minutes into the game. Young ran for two points, giving the Cardinals an 8-0 lead with their only point-after conversion.

Defensive tackle Nicholas Woodfork recovered a Southside fumble on the Southerners’ ensuing possession to engineer Dollarway’s second touchdown, which came on a 28-yard Long pass to Davonne Chapman with 4:02 left in the opening quarter. Christmas’ touchdown run followed a 14-yard Young pass to Joshua Liddell on a third-and-13 from Southside’s 22.

After the Dollarway defense stopped the Southerners on downs inside Southside territory, the Cardinals moved up by 26-0 when Young hit tight end Kabion Ento on a 49-yard scoring strike down the right sideline. Young then set the stage for his second touchdown pass — a 28-yarder to Long — by picking off a Southside pass at Dollarway’s 17-yard line and returning it 35 yards to the Southerners’ 48.

Running back Darrius Robinson preceeded the Young-Long scoring play with a 19-yard gain.

The mercy rule was invoked after Young scored on a 1-yard plunge less than five minutes into the second half. Young capped Dollarway’s point production on a 54-yard scoring jaunt inside the final minute of the third quarter.

Running back Jordan Childress registered Southside’s touchdowns with a pair of 3-yard runs, the first with 9:30 to play and the second with 5:02 left. Running back Greg Smith added a two-conversion run after the second touchdown.